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Mobile Device Management [MDM] Implementation

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a proven methodology and toolset that offers various mobile productivity tools and applications to personnel, while also ensuring the security of the corporate data[1%5E]. Its deployment typically involves a combination of on-device applications and configurations, corporate policies, certificates, and backend infrastructure[2%5E]. As a type of security software, MDM enables businesses to secure, manage, and monitor policies on employees’ mobile devices. In addition, this tool facilitates the implementation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy and optimizes these individual personal equipments for business network use[3%5E].

With MDM, companies can automate endpoint management throughout a device’s lifecycle and manage any device running on any operating system[4%5E].

Sources

  1. https://www.ibm.com/topics/mobile-device-management
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_device_management
  3. https://www.fortinet.com/resources/cyberglossary/mobile-device-management
  4. https://www.manageengine.com/mobile-device-management/what-is-mdm.html

MDM Challenges

Here are some of the most common challenges of Mobile Device Management (MDM).

  1. Device Diversity. With the prevalence of Android, iOS, and other operating systems, IT teams can struggle to manage and secure all these different devices effectively, particularly across geographically dispersed locations.
  2. Security issues. With mobile devices being susceptible to loss or theft, companies need to ensure that they can remotely lock or wipe devices to prevent data breaches. Additionally, mobile devices face a regular stream of new malware and other threats that companies must protect against.
  3. User Experience. Balancing security and user experience can be challenging. IT must enforce policies for password updates and application installations without overwhelming users or impeding their productivity.
  4. BYOD Policies. With a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policy, it’s challenging to manage and secure personal devices that employees use for work alongside corporate-owned devices.
  5. Remote Management. Especially for remote teams, IT must be able to distribute software and updates remotely, troubleshoot issues from afar, and maintain the same management standards and security levels as they do for on-site devices.
  6. Regulatory Compliance. For organizations operating in regulated sectors such as healthcare or financial services, their MDM solution needs to comply with standards such as HIPAA or GDPR, which can add further complexity to their mobile device management efforts.
  7. Multi-platform support. Since companies rarely use a single type of device or operating system, an MDM solution must be capable of managing and securing devices across multiple platforms.

By being aware of these challenges, organizations can make more informed decisions regarding the implementation and management of an MDM solution.

Implementing Mobile Device Management [MDM]

At the core of MDM is the ability to manage all types of a company’s devices, regardless of their operating system. This helps in keeping all devices secure while maintaining workforce flexibility and productivity.

How Mobile Device Management Works

MDM combines software, processes, and security policies applied to mobile devices to safeguard an organization’s assets. This extends beyond managing device inventory and provisioning as MDM solutions also secure the device’s applications, data, and content.

Moreover, through MDM, employees can either receive a dedicated work device or have a personal device remotely enrolled. Personal devices receive role-based access to enterprise data and email, a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN), GPS tracking, and password-protected applications.

More sophisticated MDM solutions can monitor behavior and business-critical data on enrolled devices. They can also leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze data and ensure devices are safe from malware or other cyber threats.

Components of Mobile Device Management Tools

  • Device tracking. MDM allows device tracking and monitoring in real-time, allowing the IT department to keep track of high-risk or non-compliant devices and lock or wipe a device if lost or stolen.
  • Mobile Management. IT departments handle the procurement, deployment, troubleshooting, and support of mobile devices issued to the workforce.
  • Application Security. Security or management features are added to applications to control their usage and flow of information.
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM). Secure mobile management requires strong IAM which allows enterprises to manage user identities associated with a device.
  • Endpoint Security. This encompasses all devices that access a corporate network and includes network security tools such as antivirus software and network access control.

BYOD and Mobile Device Management

The concept of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has seen a surge thanks to MDM, allowing employees to use personal mobile devices for work. Enterprises have been accepting this method as it increases employee satisfaction while also reducing the hardware cost for the organization.

Mobile Device Management Best Practices

Selecting an effective MDM solution should save time, improve efficiency, increase security, and ease the overall mobile management system. Key features to look for include automated reports (that consolidate enrolled devices and related information), automatic updates without any need for manual input, and a strong search functionality allowing access to devices, reports, apps, and secure documents.

MDM ultimately offers organizations an efficient method to manage multiple platforms and ensure seamless endpoint management. It exists both as a single operating system support or a variety of devices, making endpoint security decisions quicker and better informed through the power of AI and analytics.

Firewall Technical stands ready to help secure your network environment by implementing effective Mobile Device Management for your network. Contact us today!